New Build Homes: The Ideal Starter Home?

New build properties seem to be popping up in more and more places, due to the current need for more properties within the UK.  New builds are generally known as a great way to get your first home and are highly popular with new buyers, or first-time buyers.  There are many pros and cons to buying a new build, so take a look at our guide to see if a new home could be perfect for you!

The Benefits of a New Build

One of the main draws for new build homes is that the property is perfectly ready to just unpack and go as soon as you move.  There will be no immediate need to decorate or refit kitchens and bathrooms, as it will be brand new!  In many cases you will have a say over the style and finish of the kitchen and bathroom (depending on how far along with the build it is when you purchase it).  

Another great benefit of buying new is that you can often get hold of extra incentives through the developer.  In order to increase sales, many developers offer to pay your stamp duty or to throw in the cost of carpets for instance.  You may be able to haggle for better deals if you are feeling particularly cheeky!

The most known benefit of newly build properties is that they are built with modern living in mind.  They are all designed to be up to date with legislation when it comes to things like insulation and the environment, as well as being easier to integrate technology into.  Some developments offer shared services such as gyms and concierge services.

The low running costs of new builds is often touted as a great benefit, and it is true! The running costs are generally lower thanks to the high spec of insulation, double or triple glazing, and energy efficiency devices such as solar panels.  Around 80% of new build properties are rated A or B on their Energy Performance Certificates, compared to only 2% of older properties.  This can be a fantastic benefit for owners, especially those first-time buyers who tend to be just starting out in their careers too.

Some Drawbacks of the New Build

One of the main drawbacks for buying brand new is that most developments are lacking in space.  Developers look to fit as many homes as they can onto the land they have, meaning that most new builds are fairly small, with small gardens (if any garden at all).  These smaller homes often have less storage space, which is something to bear in mind if you are a family with lots of things!

Another drawback is the “new home premium”.  In a similar way to how a new car will quickly lose value once it has been driven off the forecourt, a new home may fall in value once you have moved in as it is no longer “brand new”.  If you are looking to buy a new build property, it is worth living in it for the longer term to avoid losing value.

Beware of leasehold properties! Lots of new build developments are sold as leasehold rather than freehold.  It is important that you carefully check with your conveyancer to go through the costs, charges, and restrictions which may be in place.  This generally applies more to flats rather than houses, but it is important to be aware of this subtle difference.

Quality and snagging are often brought up as potential drawbacks when it comes to new homes.  Some developers do get a bit of bad press for selling homes full of defects and issues, but even with the best new home there are always bound to be small issues here and there.  Buyers should always expect to carry out a snagging survey when they first move in, as this allows the developer to fix any problems before they turn into bigger issues further down the line.

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